Saturday, March 2, 2013

Ava's 3rd Birthday on a Dime

My daughter turned 3 back in November and she very much wanted a Dinosaur Birthday. What can I say I have a princess who loves dinos and robots. She watches a lot of Dinosaur train and we were lucky enough to be given som decorations from a friend who had some left over from her son's birthday.

For the food we had herbivore food (fruits and vegetables) carnivore food (dino shaped chicken nuggets) Dino claws (bugels ships) and dino print cookies (sugar cookies, in which I stomped in a dino foot right when they came out of the oven and dusted with cinammon. We had water and juice for drinks. She loved it all and I have to say we were pretty pleased with the outcome.

While we were waiting for kids to show up I had crayons and coloring pages out for everyone to color and take home with them.

We laid down some different dino tracks through out the house that the kids could follow to and from different activities (got the at Toys R' Us on clearnace).

After coloring we went to an excavation site. You could very well do this outside but she is a winter baby and it was cold so I put down a painting tarp and covered it with sand where the "fossils" were buried. Each kiddo had their own brush ($.49 small brush from walmart that I painted the handle) to use to unearth the fossils which again the got to take home. The fossils I used a corn startch based clay (recipe can be found here) I pushed some of her plastic dinos into it, used a small paint brush to dust cinammon into it and then baked it per the recipe.

Lastly we had a dino egg hunt where the kids went to find a dirt and coffee grind egg which housed a baby dino. I didn't catch a picture of this part but the recipe I used can be found here and then I used small dino's from the dollar store. The kids were able to take everything home in a small galvanited steel bucket from the dollar rack at Target which I adorned with Dino stickers from the dollar store and put "scream" cadbury eggs in there as the one piece of candy along with a lil dino puzzle game and plush triceratops from the dollar store.

This was the main table, the balloon dinos were from the dollar store, the leaves I bought three bunches and broke them apart from Wal-Mart and everything else came from my good friend. 

Everyone had a blast and the best part????(The whole thing cost me less than $100). Here are the links to some of the recipes I used. best Party ever :) She was one happy kid.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Hate your lightswich faceplates....Here's a cheap way to change them!

Oh Pinterest how I adore you. So I saw this on Pinterest and it was exactly what I needed for my daughters room. Here is the site and the directions are pretty much the same but I made a few changes to make it slightly easier with explanations why.

Reface your Switchplates

My daughter is obsessed with birds so I found scrapbook paper with feathers on it that I fell in love with and the best part? Each sheet was $0.39 and I already had the faceplates! Here is what you need for this project!

Ugly faceplates
Mod podge
xacto knife
Sponge brush
Scrapbook paper
Paint to blend into the paper

 First you want to take your scrapbook paper and flip it upside down and then trace the faceplate onto the back. In this case I had 4 of the same plate so I traced it four times and cut only the outside edges out with scissors slightly smaller than the pattern (cut just slightly inside, if you don't do this it will not smooth evenly when you apply it). DO NOT cut the inside holes yet.

Now this is where I don't have pictures because I learned afterwards it's easier to do now. Paint the faceplate a color that will blend easily into the scrapbook paper. In this case I used black but silver would have worked really well as well. You can hand paint it or spray paint it but either way paint and let dry.

Once it is dry you want to cover the entire front side of the plate and the backside of the scrapbook paper in Mod Podge with a sponge brush and then place the scrap book paper on the plate and smooth it. Notice you still won't have the holes cut out yet.

I did two coats, letting each coat dry in between and then flipped the switch cover over to cut out the holes.

Once you have cut the holes out flip it back over and apply 3 more coats of Mod Podge (I did a total of 5 coats because I want the ability to clean it since this is going in a childs room)


This is where I tried to paint all the edges to blend into the paper and quite honestly it was ridiculous, this is why I say to paint it first because the edges will show a little. Here are the before and after pics with the switch plate on the wall. I LOVE it and while it's hard to tell it really blends into her decor nicely.

Had the directions been a little clearer I would have given this a 5 star but since I had to spend a few hours figuring it out I took away a star. 4 star project for ease and the fact that I can now blend my house together all the way makes me very happy. This plate will most likely be redone simply because I like everything to be the same but I hope you all enjoy the project as much as I did.

Monday, September 3, 2012

This is a great re-pin for Pinterest. The actual link takes you to the following site ...

Ok here we go. I am always skeptical of anything until I try it myself. I have all stainless steel kitchen appliances and a very annoying tea kettle. We have had everything (kettle included) for 5 years now and as you all know, no matter how much I cleaned, this sticky oily residue has accumulated over the years on everything.

Gross right? There are water stains, cooking stains and kids with gross hands stains. I have run this through the dishwasher, washed it but always been weary of chemical products because we ingest water from this and while I am a good cleaner I don't want to have that residue on there too. So I saw this post...Just take 1 tbs of Cream of tarter, a little bit of water and clean....

I added enough water to make it into a milky paste with the consistency of soft scrub and then applied it directly to a scratch free blue scrub pad. I them wiped it on the teapot and did have to apply some elbow grease. Once I felt I had gotten all the grease and water spots off I rinsed the pot, dried it with a paper towel and then polished it with a clean dish towel. Here are my results...

I give this a 100% 5 star rating. It's natural and amazing. Again you have to apply elbow grease if it has really built up grease and I really recommend polishing it. I also decided to try a bit of my microwave over the stove. Now I haven't polished it in these pictures but you can again see the difference!

Highly recommend for anyone who wants to be natural and chemical free or anyone who is simply tired of paying a ton of $ for all those products that promise results and don't produce. Also remember to use a no scratch sponge when using on delicate surfaces such as stainless steel. 

Friday, August 31, 2012

Orange and Cinnamon Boil

So this is the first Pinterest item I chose to try out mainly because I had everything on hand and my house has been too cooped up due to heat/rain.

Boiling Orange Peels or if you have a Pinterest account Boiled Orange Peels

Here is what I did...

I had some oranges that had perfect intact skins but were over the date I would eat them. I filled a small sauce pot 3/4full and peeled the oranges to put their skins in it. I also decided to squeeze half and orange worth of juice in for a more fragrant smell and added 1 tbs of cinnamon. I brought this to a boil and left on for 30 mins. Here are my findings.....

This is perfect for a small living space. My kitchen and dining room smelled wonderful but the rest of the house appeared unaffected.

Very easy and inexpensive.

You can leave and reboil the next day but I would advise no longer than that due to bacteria and possible mold issues.

I think that instead of cinnamon next time I will use cloves which just seems to mesh better together in my own opinion but I imagine you can use a variety of different spices.

Biggest disappointment is that I don't feel like my house smells heavenly but it does smell fresh in the small rooms surrounding my kitchen.

Overall rating 3.5 stars

Monday, August 27, 2012

Wow! It's been a while!

Wow! It's been a while and so much has happened. Without going into too much detail we can say the economy hit this family hard but we are strong and recovered...Here are some good things that happened since my last post!

  • Vic got not one but two amazing opportunities for jobs
  • I am now a Stay at home mom
  • We have a new addition .... baby boy... Ventura Franciso dob 7/31/12 8lbs 5 oz 21" long
  • I found Pinterest
  • Ava got a new big girl room and loves it (still needs a lot of work)
  • One of my besties came out to visit last year and we had a blast!
So lots of amazing things came our way but it wasn't without a price that we paid for 8+ months. It is amazing what things can do to you to bring your family closer together and for that I am very blessed. With the newest addition to our family I have decided that I want to do more crafts with the kids and just for myself/the home to save money. I am going to start using my blog to document these crafts, their process, ways I might change them or make them easier and if they really work. I figured it will be a good way for me to see what I do over the next year and I am also going to post a product that is similar and sold in stores so we can see the cost comparison and how much savings I create by doing this. Super excited! These crafts will include holiday/home and outdoor decor, crafts for kids, hygiene, organization and  cleaning!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Where has the time gone???

As I sit here I realize it's the first bit of true quiet I have had in a week and I look at a picture of Avalina and I wonder, "Where has the time gone?" Last night I had her leaned back on my legs sitting on my tummy and she just sat up completely unassisted. She is going to be 3 months old this Sunday and I simply refuse to believe my little angel is growing up. Everyday I look at her and want to pull my hair out because she desires so much attention and wants little to do with naps although she needs them but then I stop and just take in all her little babiness. Her adorable chubby cheeks, her soft skin, the fact that everytime I look at her she smiles...I don't have to do anything and she loves me unconditionally. I LOVE THAT! I love that I am her hero and I make her happy, I love snuggle time and hugs...well what we call hugs ;).
All I have to say is my baby is growing up too quickly and I don't care for it but I have cherished every day of it thus far and can't wait to see all her milestones.

Avalina's Firsts thus far:
Sat up unassiasted
Said dada, doesn't know what it means but it was her first constant/vowel combo
Smiles out of nowhere
Squeals in delight
"talks" cooing, squealing, babbling
Grasping for things and grabbing them
Held a rattle
First Cold :( but all better now :D
bearng weight on legs, she loves to "stand"

Monday, November 30, 2009

Ava Newborn and 1 week old


1 week old